Hard to focus close-up with 8x10

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by metod, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. metod

    metod Member

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    Last night I was making a couple of close-ups of my orchids with 8x10. This is with Symmar 240/5.6 lens. I wanted to fill up the frame with the blooms, so I was pretty close, about 1:1. I just could not focus moving the lens in and out. I went all the way from infinity up to the point when I was way too close, but I could not see the sharp plane of focus. At the end, I had to lift the whole camera with the tripod (man, that's heavy) and move it back and forth to get it right. I wonder, why is that? Is it the lens? Or my eyes are failing me?
     
  2. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    I use a 240mm G-Claron for my 8x10 and close work. I think for this type of work, you might have better luck with one of these, as they were designed for something more like what you were doing. I'm sure someone can suggest a better lens, but the dof will be very shallow with nearly any 8x10 lens in this situation. Having a composition which is as close to "flat" as possible will help. Stop it down once you have the best guess at focus and any movements necessary. tim
     
  3. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    Hi, just focus with the rear standard, then you won't be moving the lens with respect to the object.

    Jon
     
  4. egdinger

    egdinger Member

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    I havn't done much reading on macro (1:1 or greater) photography, but I have found that you either have to focus using the rear standard, or moving the whole camera. And it is the lens to subject distance that dictates the magnifaction I belive.
     
  5. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Set the distance/magnification with the front, focus with the back.

    ( get back from the groundglass as far as you would be looking at a print )


    The bigger the format, the harder it is.

    There IS a reason for 35mm !!!
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yup, you need to focus with the rear standard, or you need to be able to move the whole camera to focus. Linhof made a heavy duty macro focusing rail that might work if you have a fixed rear standard.
     
  7. metod

    metod Member

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    Thanks for the tips. Glad to know this as in the outdoors it would be much harder to move the camera with tripod.

    Metod
     
  8. User Removed

    User Removed Guest

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    After you been shooting 8x10 for awhile, you get used to it. Its actually quite simple. This is an advantage of using a monorail camera because I can just loosen the tripod mount, slide the rail back and forth and not even have to touch the standards!

    Like several other people have said, its easiest to use the back to focus (if you have a monorail camera), because otherwise your just moving the lens back and forth from your subject matter.

    All the best,

    Ryan McIntosh
    www.RyanMcIntosh.net